Sick Day: My First Doctors Visit in Korea

Merriam-Webster Definition
            Shot: a medical injection.  

My Definition

            Shot: a medical injection that one receives to cure some ailment other, that is usually administered by a (too happy looking) nurse in the ARM.

           I was forced to take my first sick day last week.  I woke up Monday morning, at 6am, with severe abdominal pain. I lay curled up in the fetal position for several hours before forcing myself to get up and get ready for work.

         I had felt somewhat ill all day on Sunday but had passed it off as simply being tired. When I walked in the office on Monday, I knew it was bad when the first thing out of my co-workers mouth was, “Oh no, what’s wrong.”

         I can normally hold to the mid-western, Minnesotan “you work through the pain” line, but I felt like some major military battle was being conducted within my digestive system.

         Hayley convinced me to go to the nurses office and submit to her ministrations. After ingesting some pills and a not so pleasant tasting liquid, I curled up in another ball on one of the sick beds.

         “No offense, but you look like crap,” Hayley told me. “Sleep for a while, and I will come and get you after lunch.”

          Lunch. Just the idea made the already intense waves of nausea I was experiencing increase exponentially.

           By the time lunch came and went, I felt marginally better, but when Cecilia said, “You look awful,” and when Hye Won teacher’s eyes practically bulged out of her head when she saw me, we all decided it was time to make a doctors visit. 

           Hye Won walked me to the doctors, wrote my symptoms down on a piece of paper and then told me she had to get back to her class and would I mind seeing the doctor on my own. I must have nodded yes or something because she left. Oh well.  I survived.

           The doctor tried asking me questions in English and then pushed and prodded my abdomen, quite painful I must say.  
            I could not understand what my diagnosis was, but it had something to do with my digestive system not acclimating to the complete diet change I have experienced since moving to Korea. 

     I was prescribed some of these….

         And told to only eat warm, soft, non-oily foods for a while. Looks like more rice than usual for me in the near future.

        Thankfully, I was partially prepared for what happened next.  Hayley had warned me to expect a shot at the doctors, I guess they give shots left and right for every kind of ailment.  So when the nurse pulled me into the next room and motioned towards my pants…… I knew the moment had come.

        I have now received my first vaccination in Korea……… in the BUTT.  This was not on my “to-do-while-in-Korea” list, but it has officially happened.

        It was not a proud moment, I must say.  

       However, I did improve during the following days, so I suppose it was worth it in the end.

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